Which U.S. higher education institutions are least safe for Jews?

Watchdog grades U.S. colleges and universities based on antisemitic climate on campus, with some of the world’s leading institutions ranked the lowest
Daniel Edelson, Hadas Bar-Ad|
While students on Columbia University's campus in New York enjoy Mediterranean delights from the newly opened food stand selling Israeli chef Eyal Shani's dishes, the school also holds the dubious title of being one of the universities with the most antisemitic climate in the U.S.
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  • Not far off behind on the list, and geographically close by, is New York University (NYU), despite its close ties with academic institutions in Israel.
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    מתוך דוח האנטישמיות באוניברסיטאות
    מתוך דוח האנטישמיות באוניברסיטאות
    (Photo: StopAntisemitism)
    In both universities, Jewish students report feeling a hostile and antisemitic miasma as soon as someone voices a Zionist opinion and that the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement operates there unimpeded.
    Several days after the Anti-Defamation League published a report which revealed that 359 anti-Israel incidents were reported on American campuses in the 2021-22 academic year, StopAntisemitism - the American non-profit watchdog organization focused on combating antisemitism - published a report which offers a ranking of higher education institutions according to how well or poorly they respond to and prevent antisemitism on their campuses.
    StopAntisemitism analyzed and graded 25 higher education institutions across the United States. The report split the schools into categories: Ivy League schools, state schools, liberal arts schools, public schools with the most Jewish students, and private schools with the most Jewish students.
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    "הרווארד תומכת באפרטהייד הישראלי"
    "הרווארד תומכת באפרטהייד הישראלי"
    Protesters hoisting sign saying 'Harvard supports Israeli apartheid'
    (Photo: StopAntisemitism)
    In its analysis, StopAntisemitism adhered to various baseline measures under four categories:
    • Protection - How a school reports antisemitic incidents. Is there willingness to work with Jewish advocacy groups? What is the response of college administrators to such incidents?
    • Allyship: Does the school speak out against antisemitism? Are Jews included in the school's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policies?
    • Identity: Do Jewish students feel safe on campus? Do Jewish students feel the need to hide their identity on campus? Do Jewish students feel like they are being held responsible for Israel's actions?
    • Policy: Has the school adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Allianceʼs (IHRA) definition of antisemitism? Is there a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) organization on campus? Have BDS resolutions been adopted?
    In a survey taken by Jewish college students across the country, 55% of respondents replied that they have experienced antisemitism on campus. Half of them said that they didn't report the incidents, and about a third of those that did report said that they were ignored by college administrators or told that there was no resolution. More alarming is the fact that only 28% of the respondents said their school administration takes antisemitism and the protection of Jewish students seriously.
    Additionally, 27% of students said they feel the need to hide their Jewish identity on campus, and 55% said they feel the need to hide their support for Israel.
    Out of the academic institutions that the watchdog organization analyzed, the ones ranked the lowest in each category were: Columbia University, Swarthmore College, University of California Berkley, City University of New York Brooklyn, and University of Southern California.
    In these schools, students admitted that the administration does not take their safety seriously, they do not feel safe being open about their Jewish identity or support for Israel.
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    אוניברסיטת דרום קליפורניה: ונדליזם לבניין אגודת הסטודנטים "הלל", ביום הראשון ללימודים
    אוניברסיטת דרום קליפורניה: ונדליזם לבניין אגודת הסטודנטים "הלל", ביום הראשון ללימודים
    Hillel building at University of Southern California vandalized
    (Photo: StopAntisemitism)
    Those that received the highest rankings were: University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, and Tulane University.
    According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, over 3,000 Israelis pursue their academic studies in the U.S. every year, making up 15% of Israelis who choose to study abroad.
    StopAntisemitism also presents a section of negative findings, exposing several cases of complaints filed by students of alleged antisemitism.
    One of the cases took place in September 2020, when an NYU student filed a complaint stating that the University discriminated against Jewish students for its lack of action against antisemitic incidents on campus. The complaint highlighted many instances of antisemitic activity over a two-year period, such as an attack on a Jewish student at an event hosted by the University group Realize Israel, as well as a student-generated tweet stating, “all Zionists to die.”
    The report concluded by summarizing the shocking and upsetting trends pertaining to the safety and overall experience of Jewish students on college campuses across the U.S, and offering recommendations to help further support and protect Jewish students.
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